Trailblazers, mentors and leaders at our Lima Refinery

Women in leadership share stories of resilience and give career-building advice as International Women’s Day approaches.

March 2024 – Our Lima Refinery, located in the middle of Ohio, is a testament to the pivotal role women play in shaping our success at Cenovus Energy. We recently hosted our inaugural event in Lima under the banner of our Stronger Together with Women@CVE inclusion and diversity network, an employee-led network that empowers self-development and enables strategic connections.

The event brought together an impressive panel of women with a combined tenure of 118 years in leadership roles and essential day-to-day operations roles at the refinery. These women, with their hard-earned wisdom and unwavering determination that has helped them progress their career in the industry, shared insights that left the audience both educated and entertained.

Here are a few of their stories and words of advice:

Julie Quatman, Senior Manager for Contract Performance: Rising strong from engineer to senior manager
When Julie started at the refinery 21 years ago, she was surrounded by a predominantly male workforce. When she faced patronizing behaviour early in her career, she responded with confidence, knowing she was a subject matter expert with value. Fast forward, much has changed — from the demographics of our operations staff and leaders, to a heightened company-wide focus on a culture of respect and inclusion.

“I manage with empathy since you do not know what someone is going through,” says Julie. “But I have also learned to be comfortable with a decision. If I give something good thought and articulate the why behind it, then I can stand by it.”

Vaune Glorioso, Senior Turnaround Planner: A journey of 40 years
Vaune has been with the refinery for more than 40 years, starting as a labourer. She earned a bachelor’s degree and an MBA along the way, eventually becoming an operations supervisor and transitioning into the senior planner role she is in now. Vaune credits her leader for helping her learn early in her career to turn mistakes into growth opportunities, rather than focusing on blame — an approach she has carried with her as a leader.

Brenda Heuerman, U.S. Downstream Projects Manager for Supply Chain Management: Ready for change
Brenda has been with the refinery for more than 36 years. With confidence, Brenda encourages women to believe in their own abilities.

“You are in your role for a reason,” says Brenda. “Trust yourself and be ready for what is next. I have a picture in my office that says, ‘If you’re not riding the wave of change, you’ll find yourself beneath it.’ And I’ve embraced this perspective throughout my career.”

Pam Morris, Business, Manager of Engineering and Operational Excellence: Navigating imposter syndrome
All professionals can experience something called imposter syndrome, the feeling of anxiousness, self-doubt or inadequacy, despite being a high performer. Pam has advice for women navigating these feelings.

“The pressure to succeed and the weight of responsibility can be overwhelming,” says Pam. “I practice mindfulness — I stop, breathe, notice, reflect, respond. Then, as a technical person who loves numbers, I focus on quantifying the value I add. I encourage everyone to remind themselves that it is a journey and to give yourself credit for how far you have come.”

Stronger Together with W@CVE: Championing gender equity
W@CVE is our largest and longest-running inclusion and diversity network at Cenovus. Learn more.
Inclusion and Diversity at Cenovus

We embrace diversity of thought, experience and background to make better business decisions. Learn more about inclusion and diversity at Cenovus.

Stephanie Fleming: Embodying our values for over 25 years
Stephanie embodies our Do it Together value at work and the community in the Atlantic Region.  Read Stephanie's story
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